The Dominican Republic is your new World Baseball Classic champion.

The island nation just defeated Puerto Rico 3-0, in what was a Caribbean showdown for the WBC championship at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

The Dominican Republic drew first blood right away in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Reyes led off with a double, high off the right field wall. Then, Erick Aybar laid a sacrifice bunt advancing Reyes to third base.

Puerto Rico walked WBC hits leader, Robinson Cano, with the intention of looking for a double play against cleanup hitter Nelson Cruz.

But Cruz made the Puerto Rican team strategy’s backfire. He hit a double to deep center field, scoring Reyes and Cano for the Dominican Republic’s lead 2-0.

Puerto Rican starter Giancarlo Alvarado looked shaky and young Milwaukee Brewers prospect Hiram Burgos was sent to loosen up in the bullpen. Alvarado was able to retire the next two outs, but his night was done as Puerto Rico’s manager didn’t waste any time and Burgos came in for relief in the second inning.

The Dominican Republic scored its third run on the bottom of the fifth. Alejandro De Aza reached base after he laid down a bunt towards the third base line and beat out the throw to first. Then, Reyes hit a slow roller to second base and Irving Falu had a moment of indecision and decided to throw out Reyes at first, instead of the lead runner De Aza.

With De Aza in scoring position, Aybar hit a double down the line to right field, scoring De Aza easily, giving a 3-0 lead to the Dominicans.

Puerto Rico had its fair chances to score. The team went hitless in 14 at bats with runners on base, leaving six runners in scoring position stranded.

It was another dominating performance for the Dominican Republic, who didn’t allowed Puerto Rico to score another giant kill, after Puerto Rico had eliminated Venezuela, USA and Japan in the  previous two rounds.

Dominican starting pitcher Samuel Deduno got the win after he went five innings and struck out five. The dominating Dominican bullpen took over where he left off in the sixth.

He was followed by Octavio Dotel (sixth), Pedro Strop (seventh), Santiago Casillas (eight) and “Mr. Untouchable”, Fernando Rodney, closed out the ninth for his tournament -igh seventh save.

With 100 players in the major leagues, the Dominican Republic cements its position as the top baseball power in Latin America, and now probably the world.

The Dominican Republic went 8-0 in the tournament and became the first team to win the WBC unbeaten, beating Puerto Rico once in each round of the tournament.


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